Eurofilms S.A.: Polish Stretch Film Producer Takes Off

Production capacity tripled, enormous increase in sales to 138 million PLN and successful debut at the Warsaw stock exchange - these three catchwords describe the success achieved by the young Polish stretch film manufacturer Eurofilms S.A., Olawa, in the highly competitive European stretch film market since its foundation only six years ago.

‘The unparalleled success of our company has only been possible with a highly efficient and motivated team, and it could not have been achieved without the excellent partnership provided by the machine manufacturer Battenfeld Gloucester and the material suppliers Sabic and Exxon’, Grzegorz Kedzierski, President and CEO of Eurofilms, summarized his experience during an official Open House event in September. With an annual production capacity of 27,000 tons of LLDPE stretch film and about 7,000 tons of PVC shrink film, Eurofilms is one of the largest film producers in Poland today. Eurofilms is also active as a distributor of BOPP film. The company’s main market is the domestic market which absorbs 70 % of the company’s sales; most of the remaining 30 % are exports to Germany. ‘It is our philosophy to serve not just a few major customers, but to win as many new customers as possible, including small customers, a target which has once more been reached in 2006. Within one year, we have increased our customer base from 470 to 580′, Kedzierski explains his company’s success, and he is certain that Eurofilms will continue to grow. He expects further growth to come about either by acquisitions or by an extension of the product range supplied to the existing distribution network, or both.
Complete line concept for a difficult market
‘Since the introduction of the new Cast 2020 line concept, we have sold eight lines of this type within two and a half years’, the new sales director for Europe, David Finnemore proudly reports. ‘Within the past 18 months, Battenfeld Gloucester has even sold a total of 18 lines worldwide, which produce film up to a net width of 4m’.
Finnemore estimates that the stretch film market in Europe will grow by about 6% annually within the next few years. He plans to increase Battenfeld Gloucester’s sales with the target of realizing about 40% of the company’s total sales in Europe, the Middle East and Russia by 2009.
In his opinion, two basic trends have emerged in the cast film market. There is an increasing demand for high-grade barrier film for fresh food packaging, consisting of as many as nine or more layers. At the same time, there is a growing demand for film with less emphasis on functionality and more on competitive pricing instead. ‘We want to cater to both trends in future by offering tailor-made line concepts’, Finnemore promises. He and his team are engaged in continuous further development of the machinery supplied by Battenfeld.
Immediate production start-up
The great advantage of the Cast 2020, designed for manufacturing film in widths from 2 to 3 m, is its flexibility and quick, easy start-up process. ‘Our flexible complete lines are the ideal equipment for companies like Eurofilms that want to supply high-quality film to many small and medium-sized businesses in the growing stretch film market’, Finnemore emphasizes. Thanks to their plug-and-play concept, these lines are not only very quickly installed on customers’ premises, but also ready to start production immediately after their installation.
Modern standard equipment
The scope of delivery of a standardized production line to manufacture 3-layer stretch film 2 m wide includes two 75 mm and one 150 mm Contracool extruders. Each plastication unit is equipped with a gravimetric blending and material feeding unit for 3 or 4 components and a screen changer. A throughput of up to 1,300 kg/h is guaranteed. The feed block and extrusion die, both supplied by Cloeren, with whom Battenfeld Gloucester has successfully co-operated for many years, ensure optimal layer thickness distribution and extremely narrow thickness tolerances. The 700 model casting roll is 2,750 mm wide, with a chill roll diameter of 1016 mm. Ultra-modern measuring and control equipment is also incorporated in the casting unit as standard. Casting roll tempering and film thickness gaging by means of NIR (Near Infra-red) sensor are integrated as well. Additional features are an electrostatic edge pinning system, an electrostatic discharge system for the film and automatic feedback of edge trims. The Cast 2020 is laid out for film thicknesses between 10 and 70 m with line speeds of about 560 m/min. The adjustable cutting device splits the web into either 4 x 500 mm wide or 5 x 400 mm wide reels, as required for both automatic and manual stretch film applications. Thanks to the fully automatic Battenfeld 1027-S turret winder, excellent geometry reels with a diameter of up to 500 mm can be produced on 76 mm cores. Finally, handling is facilitated by an automatic core feeding and reel removal system as well as the central EXTROL control system of the line.
Innovation built in
‘Of course we have worked continuously on improving this new machine concept ever since its introduction, and the improvements achieved are now included as standard. One of the latest adjustments involves the electrical equipment of the line, which is now completely installed in what we call the E-house, a temperature-controlled compartment’, Finnemore explains. ‘Moreover, we are currently the only machine manufacturer in the industry to offer such equipment with dimensions measured either in metric or in imperial units, to meet any of the global market requirements.’ The latest-generation EXTROL Plus control system also includes some recent improvements: a graphical interface with touch screen control allows simple, intuitional operation. ‘Intensive co-operation with our customers and material suppliers is particularly important for the further development of our machinery concepts, since this is the only way for us all to survive in the growing, yet highly competitive packaging market’, Finnemore concludes.

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